Tag Archives: Dominic Mitchell

Zombie drama In the Flesh shambles back for Season 2

'In the Flesh' star Luke Newberry.

Luke Newberry returns as Partially Deceased Syndrome sufferer Kieren Walker as ‘In the Flesh’ returns tonight for a new season on BBC America.

Zombie-centric films and TV shows are hot commodities these days, but BBC America scored a cult hit last season with the premiere of In the Flesh, a decidedly offbeat miniseries that, like The Walking Dead, took place in the aftermath of a zombie resurrection. Unlike AMC’s super-hit, however, the inexplicably resurrected departed of In the Flesh are able to live somewhat normal lives, thanks to medical research that has developed a serum that, if administered on a regular basis, disables the homicidal rage to which Partially Deceased Syndrome (PDS) sufferers otherwise succumb.
The series takes place primarily in Roarton, Lancashire, a rural British community where teenage central character Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry) initially struggled to reconnect with the family he left via suicide. His hometown was sharply divided between tolerant residents who were happy to have their loved ones back for any reason and a virulent anti-zombie faction led by the unhinged Vicar Oddie (Kenneth Cranham), who believed the resurrected PDS patients were godless abominations who needed to be put down.
Last season, Kieren found welcome support from his “best dead friend forever,” Amy (Emily Bevan), an improbably sunny soul who, sadly, was last seen catching a train out of Roarton after being assaulted by thugs.
Tonight, Season 2 of In the Flesh opens nine months later. In many respects, things have improved for Kieren, especially within his own family. As locals start to adjust to the presence of the PDS persons in their midst, the mad vicar’s flock has dwindled to a mere handful, but nevertheless Kieren yearns to leave Roarton for Paris, where he hopes to make a new start as an art student. He knows that the peace between the living and semi-dead is a tenuous one, especially as reports emerge of a PDS splinter group, the Undead Liberation Army, a radical faction opposed to mainstreaming. Most horrifyingly, some ULA terrorists have begun to wilfully take a drug that causes them to revert to their slavering psychotic zombie state.
Kieren’s resolve to leave is shaken somewhat by the unexpected return of Amy, who has fallen in love. What Kieren doesn’t know is that her charismatic beau, Simon (Emmett J. Scanlan), is a ULA radical himself.
Also joining this new six-part season is Wunmi Mosaku (Philomena) as Maxine Martin, Roarton’s new right-wing Member of Parliament, who sees the zombies as a useful wedge issue she can exploit for political gain.
BBC America only made the first new episode of In the Flesh available for preview, but it suggests that this new season ups the horror quotient significantly over last season. That doesn’t mean that the series has lost its offbeat identity, however. Creator Dominic Mitchell scored a BAFTA nomination for his writing in Season 1, and In the Flesh still resonates with political, social and religious allegory. Check it out if you’re in the mood for something unconventional, but if you missed Season 1, try to catch that via one of several on-demand platforms before diving into these new episodes.
Wunmi Mosaku of 'In the Flesh.'

Wunmi Mosaku joins ‘In the Flesh’ this season as a newly minted Member of Parliament with a sinister personal agenda.

A zombie miniseries with bra-i-i-i-i-ins

In The Flesh
Luke Newberry
As U.S. moviegoers await the theatrical premiere of Brad Pitt’s new World War Z later this month, BBC America tonight rolls out In the Flesh, a three-night “zombie miniseries event” continuing through Saturday night.
Set in England, the unconventional drama follows teenager Kieren “Ren” Walker (Luke Newberry, Anna Karenina), who died in 2009, but was one of thousands who unaccountably rose from their graves not long after that as members of the walking dead. Eventually, government researchers discovered that many of the “rotters,” as humans called them, responded to a medical treatment that, if administered on a regular basis, turned off the “zombie switch” and allowed sufferers of the newly diagnosed Partially Deceased Syndrome (PDS) to manage their condition and lead comparatively normal lives, although they can’t digest food or liquids.
Now, after many months of medication and rehabilitation, Kieren is among the latest group being released from a government facility and returned to his small rural hometown of Roarton, wearing special makeup and contact lenses to conceal his zombie-like features. While his parents are nervously overjoyed to have their son back, however, the rest of Roarton is a hotbed of anti-zombie sentiment. Even Kieren’s once-adoring kid sister, Jemima (Harriet Cains), has joined the Human Volunteer Force (HVF), a grassroots militia that sprang up when the zombie resurrection overtaxed government security forces in the metropolitan areas, leaving outlying villages to their own defenses. The HVF is led by Bill Macy (Steve Evets), a working-class army veteran who co-founded the group with Vicar Oddie (Kenneth Cranham), a zealot who sees a chance to exploit the situation to his own ends.
Macy’s unwavering hatred of zombies compels him to continue hunting down and killing “rotters” regardless of whether they have been rehabilitated, even after his golden-boy son, Rick (David Walmsley) – who also was Kieren’s best friend in high school – returns from Afghanistan as a PDS sufferer himself.
Beyond that set-up, it’s really difficult to say much more about In the Flesh without spoiling the many surprises and twists that series creator Dominic Mitchell has waiting for viewers. For one thing, as Kieren soon discovers to his dismay, his “cure” leaves him with still-vivid memories of the bloody acts he was driven to commit while he was rabid, as well as the horror of suddenly awakening in his coffin underground when “the Rising” took place. But it’s not all dark – Friday’s episode gets a blast of fresh comic air as Kieren is reunited with fellow PDS sufferer Amy Dyer (Emily Bevan), whose life was cut short by leukemia and is so grateful to get another shot at life in the fresh air and sunshine that she goes through her days with a ferociously unapologetic gusto.
Beyond that, you’ll have to watch In the Flesh to discover important revelations such as the poignant truth about how Kieren died and why. You may notice that some plot threads, including one involving a mysterious Internet website, are left dangling; the BBC already has commissioned Mitchell to write additional episodes, which will premiere next year in the United Kingdom (no word, yet, on whether BBC America will pick those up, but the odds are good if viewers respond favorably to this initial miniseries).
In The Flesh
Emily Bevan